Jef Benbanaste spent his summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Kettle Cuisine, a refrigerated and frozen soup maker in Chelsea, MA. While trying to figure out the best way to meter the equipment used at the facility, he discovered a free energy audit program funded by the Department of Energy and run by the University of Massachusetts Industrial Assessment Center. The resulting full day assessment helped identify two main energy efficiency opportunities.
Several refrigeration system water pumps were running at full power while the water flow was being controlled using valves on the pipes. Instead, Benbanaste calculated that installing variable frequency drives to lower pump speed and thus regulate water flow could save about 75,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
In addition, Benbanaste and the audit team found that allowing the condenser water temperature to drop with the especially colder weather of Massachusetts would significantly reduce the load on compressors and result in an annual savings of 350,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Together, these two projects could save Kettle Cuisine over $60,000 a year in electricity costs.